Loren Kruse has dedicated his professional career to agriculture. He’s seen the highs of booming agricultural economies and the lows of a farm crisis. His experiences in agriculture have provided him with great insights that he shares with today’s collegiate students.
This September, Kruse will retire as the editor-in-chief of Successful Farming, a position that he has enjoyed over the course of four decades. Kruse joined the magazine’s editorial staff in 1976, when he was hired as a senior farm management editor. He was named editor-in-chief in 1989.
Kruse, who was raised in Iowa, is a prime example of the value of networking and being prepared when an opportunity presents itself. After graduating from Kansas State University in 1970, he worked for Oklahoma State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. “One of my jobs at Oklahoma State was assisting visiting journalists who came to campus,” Kruse remembers. “One of them recommended me for an opening as farm management editor. I liked the idea of using my degree in ag economics and also moving back to my home state of Iowa.”
Successful Farming reaches more than one million readers each month. Kruse and his staff are key contributors to Collegiate FFA, as they serve as media partners during the New Century Farmer conference each July in Johnston, Iowa.
With his long career, Kruse has dealt with a countless number of employees. So he has a good sense of how college students should prepare for their own careers. “Do internships and part-time work of any kind at the university within your major or expected career field,” he says. “Be known as a hard-working contributor and leader of your organization and activities.”
Kruse also recommends taking at least one international experience and seeking and participating in opportunities throughout the university. He suggests students should be “hard working, highly productive people who have tasted success and want more of it.”
In addition to his successful print career, Kruse and his family owns a crop, livestock and Christmas tree farm near Ankeny, Iowa.